Top Earning Trades in the United States Right Now

I was 6 years old when I first realized that I was a little … stranger than my peers. The first inclination that anybody had was when my teacher went around the class asking everyone what they wanted to be. She had the usual assortment of “football players” and “astronauts,” as you might expect. When she got to me, I proudly told her that I wanted to be a garbage man.

To this day I have no idea why. She actually suggested that I’d be better off as a comedian, but the sarcasm was lost on me. I would later settle on being a writer, which is only marginally better. But I have always wondered what route my life would have taken if I wasn’t such an odd little child. Would I have made it as a garbage man or, more likely, would I have spent my days feigning illness and praying for a medical malpractice settlement?.

I might have even considered some of these trades, which are some of the highest paying in the US right now.

Elevator Repair and Maintenance: Average Wage $35 an Hour

The thing that makes certain tradespersons so unique is that they have a very specialist skill that no one can perform without the right know-how. If there is a leak in your sink or a blown fuse in your socket then you might be able to fix it yourself. This is a DIY age in which we all have Youtube tutorials to turn to.

But how many of you would try to fix an elevator yourself? If any of you held your hand up, then you’re an idiot and I’m never visiting your apartment building.

Transportation Inspectors: Average Wage $31 an Hour

There’s a lot of money to be made from walking around with a clipboard, pointing at trucks and shaking your head dismissively. In other words, I don’t really know what these guys do, but clearly it’s important because they earn a pretty penny doing it.

Electrical Power-Line Installers: Average Wage $28 an Hour

If you have ever looked skyward, seen a man straddling a power line and thought to yourself, “What the hell is that crazy man doing up there?” Well, now you know. Because apparently that crazy man is earning more than $28 an hour for his troubles. I personally wouldn’t climb that high even if there wasn’t a giant death machine to attend to, but that’s why I’m a writer and not a power-line installer.

Subway Operators: Average Wage $28 an Hour

Many kids dream of being train drivers, apparently (it has nothing on being a garbage man). It’s a dying profession because we’re headed towards automation, but that has created a situation in which there are only a small percentage of older workers who have the experience needed and can therefore command a high price.

Aircraft Mechanics: Average Wage $27 an Hour

These are the guys who keep those flying tin cans in the air and make sure you get to your beach holiday destination alive, and without your ass blown out of your nose. If you’ve ever wondered how they keep them up, how they maintain them and how they fix them, don’t. That’s what these guys are for.

Electricians: Average Wage $25 an Hour

Seen as one of the more common trades, you might think there are more electricians than needed, but jobs like this are actually in decline. The work is therefore always available if you have the skills.